Cadans - Computer-aided design plugin for 3D statistic anthropometric design

Design of Wearable Products

The human body is a complex shape with many variations of which a thorough understanding is needed in order to design wearable products, like protective gear, head-sets, sports clothing, and orthotics, that are both functional and ergonomic. Current design approaches, relying only on 1D anthropometry and unrealistic, linearly scaled ISO-mannequins, require many prototyping and testing iterations. With the uprising of 3D scanning technology, however, an enormous amount of 3D data becomes available for the product developer. Unfortunately, it is not yet clear how this wealth of information can be leveraged for improving their products. CADANS will solve this.

CADANS Technology & Innovation

In this project, state-of-the-art processing techniques are employed to structure 3D-scan databases into 3D statistical anthropometric models that provide a concise parameterization of the 3D human body shape with anthropometric parameters. These models are then made available to the product developer in standard CAD-software where they can be used for:

  • quantitative and qualitative exploration of 3D shape and size variation within a target population;
  • devising product and target-group specific sizing systems, e.g. one-size-fits-all or N-sizes-fit-all (See figure);
  • dynamic linking of CAD designs to 3D shape models for easy mass-customization of the product.

Male mannekins with increasing body mass index and S/M/L-headforms for wearable products

Male manikins with increasing Body Mass Index and S/M/L-headforms for head mountable products

Because of the amount of data behind these shapes it becomes easy to plot extra data on them. Example given below is a plot of the variance of every point on the shapes. This can help developers greatly since they can see where sizes differ greatly and extra cushioning or adaptiveness is required.

Color maps showing the variance in their shape

Variance in shape on three head sizes.

What is IWT TETRA?

A TETRA-project is focused at translating scientific knowledge to the everyday practice of Flemish enterprises and thereby increasing innovation potential to ensure that they can develop new products, services or processes faster. The project is executed by a consortium of academic research groups and funded by IWT (92.5%). Companies that can benefit from the project results are invited to join the user committee and to actively support the project (7.5%).


As a user committee member you are granted exclusive access to all results during the project and you have the opportunity to steer the project, provide use-cases to optimize your products or workflow, participate in project meetings, etc. For more information contact us:


Physical Evaluation of an Anthropometric Shape Model of the Human Scalp

Vleugels J, Lacko D, De Bruyne G, Huysmans T, Verwulgen S.  2015.  Physical Evaluation of an Anthropometric Shape Model of the Human Scalp. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on 3D Body Scanning Technologies, Lugano, Switzerland, 27-28 October.

Anthropometrics 2.0: Enrichment of Classical Anthropometry through Multidisciplinary Collaboration